When Things Go Bump in the Night

It’s Halloween; the time of year when people decorate their homes with haunting embellishments and spooky décor. Bats, spiders, and rodents are all good and fun when they’re made of plastic, but when you have the real thing taking up residence in your home, it’s no treat. Here are some tips for making sure these frightening critters don’t make your house their permanent home.

Blood Suckers

While they may not turn into vampires in real life, preventing a bat infestation is actually good for your health. That’s because bats are a known carrier of rabies and an accumulation of their droppings can cause lung problems in humans. Bats can enter your home through holes less than an inch wide, and when they do, they often find the attic to be very accommodating to their needs. So, how do you keep them from settling in? Start by checking your roof and siding for any gaps. Check your attic for any signs of infestation, including: brown stains around any openings in your siding or roof (from oil on their skin), droppings, or strange sounds coming from the attic. Ghosts aren’t the only ones who like it up there.

To prevent or rid your home of bats follow these tips:

  • Get rid of the bats now, so they can find alternative shelter before hibernation season in the winter.
  • Check with local pest control companies; in some states it is illegal to exterminate bats.
  • Locate the point of entry.
  • Hire a professional to evacuate the bats.
    • As mentioned above, bats can cause health problems; hire a professional who has experience and the right equipment. There are humane options available.
  • Prevent re-entry by sealing any openings.
  • Use mothballs to prevent re-nesting. Bats have a tendency to return to previous nesting sites, so this may need to be repeated.

Creepy Crawlies

In lists of common phobias, more than thirty percent of adults report fearing spiders, right behind public speaking and death. Most spiders that you find in your home are perfectly harmless; however, that doesn’t mean you want to share your space with them. To be on the safe side, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself from our little eight legged friends. Even a bite from a harmless spider can cause infections with itchy, red skin. In most cases, it can be treated by washing it with cool, soapy water, elevation, and an ice pack. Of course, if it shows signs of getting worse, your next step should be calling your doctor. Spider varieties that you should avoid include: Hobo spiders, Black Widows, Brown Recluses, and the Yellow Sac spider. These spiders are poisonous and can cause a number of symptoms from vomit to necrotic lesions. According to experts, spiders very rarely cause death in humans; however, if you are bit by a venomous spider you should seek immediate medical attention (and bring the spider remains with you, if possible).

Here are some tips to reduce spiders in your home:

  • Kill spiders on sight.
  • Place non-poisonous spider traps with non-toxic attractants and glue in areas where spiders are commonly found and in corners.
  • Be careful with common insect repellent and spider sprays, these can be toxic and harmful to children and pets.
  • Spiders can be deterred with essential oils: lavender, chestnut, clover leaf, and coconut.
  • Use ultrasonic devises.

Rodents:

The most effective way to prevent mice and rat infestation is to keep them out of your home in the first place. Mice can get through a gap as small as a quarter of an inch, so thoroughly inspecting the foundation and interior of your home for entrance points and sealing any cracks or holes is a great way to start. Rodents are also excellent at tracking food sources. Keep all food, including pet food and pantry items in secure bins and jars.

If you have found evidence of mice or rats (generally droppings or urine) take caution. Rodent secretions can be hazardous, and can spread salmonella or hanta virus. There are multiple methods for removing rodents from your home, including traps, poison bates, electronic and sonic devises and, a house cat, or professional exterminator.

If you are getting rid of the critters on your own you will want to follow these steps:

  • Identify their food source(s), entry points, and common routes around and through your home.
  • Remove food source with secure packaging that cannot be chewed through, such as glass containers.
  • Seal all entry points with wire mesh.
  • Place sonic devises, traps, poison, or other deterrents in the pathway of the rodents.
  • Use caution, make sure poison or exposed traps are not accessible to children or pets.
  • If you find urine, droppings, or a dead mouse you will want to spray the surface and mouse with a bleach/water solution. Using gloves and a face mask, remove the rodent and wipe all surfaces.
  • If you have identified a large quantity of rodents, contact a professional for removal and clean up.
  • You may need to take extra measures to ensure the removal is permanent by changing components of your back yard, replacing siding, or upgrading building materials to prevent outdoor nesting and re-infestation.

 

Originally Posted on the Windermere Blog, in Living by Marilou Ubungen 

Housewarming Gifts for Seattleites

In a scene from Frank Capra’s 1946 film, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Mary And George Bailey (Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart) welcome the Martini family to their new home with three symbolic gifts and a brief, heartfelt speech. “Bread, that this house may never know hunger,” they say. “Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.” It’s just a tiny scene, but it captures a universal moment. Giving a gift to new neighbors or close friends who have moved is a custom that spans centuries and cultures.

When the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth, Wampanoag Indians brought them much-needed deer meat and beaver skins. In the case of new neighbors, gift giving is a simple way to establish good relations. And for friends who have moved, a housewarming gift is an important show of support during what can be a stressful time.

To update the traditional housewarming present and make it a little more personal, we have created a list of Seattle “must-haves” that are sure to impress and make their new Seattle home feel very warm.

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Loaf of bread from Grand Central Bakery

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Sugar from Old Salt Merchants

 

San Juan Salt Co

Salt from San Juan Salt Company

 

Queen anne olive oil

Incredible olive oil from Queen Anne Olive Oil

 

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A charming flour sack towel from City People’s Mercantile

 

 

 

Welcome to the New Windermere Living Experience

If you regularly receive Windermere Living magazine, you might notice something a little different about this issue. That’s because we’ve given the magazine a total redesign to better reflect Windermere’s passion for community, connection, and inspired living.

Fall Cover - Windermere Living 2017

Within the pages of this magazine you will find carefully curated editorial which we hope will give our readers an element of surprise and delight. Our goal is to write about people and places that bring a community to life.

In this issue, we celebrate the magic of Sun Valley, Idaho. A longtime favorite of Hollywood’s A-list and outdoor mavericks, the town of Ketchum and its community of inspired locals make this alpine escape a winter must. Additionally, we’ll take you behind the scenes with celebrity designer Jonathan Adler, who reveals his picks for cozy, chic living spaces. And don’t miss our new Destination GPS, which spotlights Windermere’s vibrant markets throughout the West.

And of course, the homes. Pages upon pages of beautiful homes in all shapes, sizes, prices, and neighborhoods all over the West Coast.

You need not be in the market for a home to enjoy Windermere Living; you just need an appreciation for real estate and elevated living. We hope you like it.

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Posted in Perspectives by Jill Jacobi Wood, OB Jacobi & Geoff Wood 

Dog Days of Summer in Seattle

Owning a dog is not only good for companionship, they also can help you stay fit and active. Seattle is notorious for being dog-friendly and we have the restaurants, hotels and wine tasting events to prove it.

During the gorgeous summer months that we enjoy in Seattle, the long list of off-leash dog parks can give you and your dog a fun, safe place to enjoy the sun. Some parks are bigger than others and some also have trails for maximizing exercise opportunities for you and your dog.

We have assembled a short list of some of the most popular dog parks in Seattle, detailing amenities and locations, to you can discover new places to roam with your furry friends.

Magnuson Park

With nearly 9 acres of level play area and trails, this park also features a fully fenced off-leash dog area, a separate play area for small and shy dogs, and has beach access to Lake Washington.

Magnolia Manor Park

A much smaller park when compared to Magnuson – this park is still a very popular doggie destination in the Magnolia neighborhood.

Golden Gardens Park

One of Seattle’s most beautiful waterfront parks, this Ballard treasure also offers one acre of land dedicated as an off-leash area. Once your pooch is tired from cavorting with other dogs – leash him back up and enjoy a fire on the beach.

Regrade Park

A small but safe oasis in the heart of Belltown, Regrade Park offers Urban Pups a place to get off their leash and move around. Double fencing provides extra safety precautions in the high traffic area.

Woodland Park

It’s not the largest off-leash park but with small hills and trees interspersed, it is fun for a quick romp. Woodland Park itself is also great for long walks on a leash.

Blue Dog Pond Park

Located in Southeast Seattle, Blue Dog Pond is the place where wagging tails and art meet. Art installations are located throughout the park – including a big blue dog sculpture – while the off-leash area has lot of grassy slopes for fun play.

Seven Trends That Will Define the Home of the Future

As sophisticated as homes are today, experts predict they’ll be far more so in the not-too-distant future— especially when it comes to their use of technology. Included are seven evolutionary trends that many expect to define the home of the future.

 

#1: Faster home-construction

Today, it takes somewhere between 18 months and two years to design and build your custom dream home. In the foreseeable future, experts predict that timeline will be slashed to six to nine months.

Architects will use immersion technology to not only develop plans faster, but also enable you to “walk” through a three-dimensional representation of the house and experience what it will be like to live there. Changes to the layout could be incorporated with a few clicks of the keyboard and mouse.

And, instead of delivering raw materials to the construction site and having workers cut and assemble them to match the plans, about 70 percent of the cutting and assembling work will take place in a precision-controlled factory environment. Once the foundation is ready, the pre-constructed walls, floors and roof will be delivered in “folded” sections, complete with windows, doors, fixtures, and even appliances, already installed.

 

#2: Alternative building materials and techniques

One of the big breakthroughs in home construction coming in the near future will be the use of steel framing in place of lumber.

Steel is not only stronger (able to withstand a 100-pound snow load, 110 mile per hour winds and significant earthquakes), it’s also far more eco-friendly than most people think (manufactured from up to 77 percent recycled materials) and much less wasteful (typical lumber framing generates 20 percent waste, while steel framing generates just two percent).

Other innovative home-building materials moving towards the mainstream include:

  • Wall insulation made of mushroom roots (it grows inside the air cavity, forming an air-tight seal).
  • Panels made of hemp and lime.
  • Windows made from recycled wood fiber and glass.
  • Recycled-glass floor and counter tiles.
  • Reclaimed wood (beams and flooring re-milled and repurposed).

 

#3: Smaller homes with inventive layouts

The optimum home size for many Americans has been shrinking, and experts predict it will shrink more in the future. But it will feel bigger than it is because the layout will be so practical.

The driving forces behind the small-house movement (millennials purchasing their first home and baby boomers looking to downsize) aren’t interested in formal dining rooms, home offices, guest quarters and other spaces that have only one use and are only occasionally occupied. And they certainly aren’t interested in formal entries, high ceilings and three-car garages. They want an informal house layout, with flexible, adaptable spaces that can be used every day in one way or another.

Many of these homes will also feature a second master bedroom, so parents, children and grandparents can all comfortably live under one roof.

 

#4: Walkable neighborhoods

Even today, homebuyers are willing to give up some of their wants for a new house in order to get a location that’s within walking distance to stores, restaurants and other amenities. In the future, that trend is expected to only grow stronger.

 

#5: The net-zero house

For some time now, homeowners and homebuilders have both been striving to make the structures where we live more energy-efficient (green housing projects accounted for 20% of all newly built homes in 2012). But in the future, the new goal with be a net-zero home: A home that uses between 60 to 70 percent less energy than a conventional home, with the balance of its energy needs supplied by renewable technologies (solar, wind, etc.).

Essentially, these are homes that sustain themselves. While they do consume energy produced by the local utility, they also produce energy of their own, which can be sold back to the utility through a “net metering” program, offsetting the energy purchased.

 

#6 High-tech features

The technology revolution that’s transformed our phones, computers and TVs is going to push further into our homes in the not-too-distant future.

Examples include:

  • Compact robots (similar to the Roomba vacuum) that will clean windows and more.
  • Video feeds inside the oven that will allow you to use your phone to check on what’s cooking.
  • Faucet sensors that detect bacteria in food.
  • Blinds that will automatically open and close depending on the time of day, your habits and the amount of sun streaming through the windows.
  • Refrigerators that will monitor quantities, track expiration dates, provide recipes, display family photos, access the Web, play music, and more.
  • Washers and dryers that can be operated remotely.
  • Appliances that will recognize your spoken commands.
  • Heating and cooling systems that automatically adapt to your movements and can predict your wants.

 

#7: A higher level of security

In the future, home will continue to be a place where we want to feel safe and secure. To accomplish that, you can expect:

  • Sensors that can alert you to water and gas leaks.
  • Facial recognition technology that can automatically determine whether someone on your property is a friend or foe.
  • A smart recognition system that will open the garage door, turn off the security system, unlock the doors and turn on the interior lights when it senses your car approaching.
  • The capability to create the illusion that you’re home and moving about the property when you’re actually someplace else.

 

This is no pipe dream

Many of these products, processes and strategies are already in use. Some are still being tested. And others are only in the incubator stage. But in the not-too-distant future, experts believe they’ll all be available to homeowners across the country.

 

Originally posted on the Windermere Blag by Tara Sharp.

Why We Love Living in Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass features eight galleries of his work, with the Glasshouse – a 40-foot tall glass and steel structure inspired by garden conservatories around the world taking center stage. In the garden, Chihuly’s sculptures are interspersed within a magnificent display of trees, plants, and flowers. Those who still do not know his work, or have never seen it in person, will be enchanted by Chihuly’s genius and ability to transform spaces and create true glass forests.

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The museum recreates some of the major works of Chihuly’s career, and invites us to explore, imagine, photograph and compose. A wonderful tour that will tinker with your creativity and leave you inspired.

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Windermere Hosts Third-Annual Washington Waterfront Home Tour

When you picture your best life, does it include entertaining shore-side? Launching a boat from your back steps? Or fishing in your pajamas? If you dream of a waterfront life then you’re in luck! That’s because  on June 24-25 we are hosting the third-annual Washington Waterfront Home Tour. More than 80 homes from the San Juan Islands to Lake Sammamish are available to tour by boat, bike, or car. Properties are priced from $595,000 to $20 million. While you might think a waterfront home is out of your budget, there are actually properties that fit a wide variety of needs, styles, and budgets.

Here are a few examples of what you can expect to see this weekend on the tour:

Oak Harbor Charmer:content_OakHarborhttps://www.windermere.com/listing/54079653

Spectacular in Seward Park:    

SewardParkhttps://www.windermere.com/listing/54556875

Enchanted Estate in Friday Harbor:content_Friday_Harborhttps://www.windermere.com/listing/54552772

A map of the homes and their open house hours can be found on the Washington Waterfront Home Tour website. Most will be held open from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. on June 24 and 25. The listing details will note the availability; for those listed as “by appointment only”, you can contact the agent for a private tour.

Follow the fun on the Windermere Real Estate Facebook page, and share your own photos while you tour these beautiful homes by tagging your pictures on Instagram and Twitter with #WAWaterfront.

In addition to Windermere, the Washington Waterfront Home Tour is being sponsored by Penrith Home Loans.

 

Originally posted on the Windermere Blog by Tara Sharp

 

At Home in the Outdoors

More than 80 percent of Americans say they want an outdoor living space where they can relax and entertain. And it’s no wonder why. Outdoor spaces extend your livable space, add visual interest, and increase not only your quality of life, but also the overall value of your home. (In some cases, the increase in your home’s value can cover most or all of the cost to create the new space.) Here are some options to consider:

Deck

DECK

Decks are still the most popular outdoor living spaces, not only because they work so well for entertaining and relaxing, but also because they have the highest return on investment (see the Tips column for data).

Surprisingly, wood decks (made of cedar or pine) are actually the better financial investment, because building with Trex or other popular composite products costs considerably more, yet doesn’t increase the home’s value by as much.

Expanding and reconfiguring your current deck is another option that’s popular today. The contractor will typically remove the old face boards, extend the underlying structure, and then put down the new decking. This is also an opportunity to add built-in furniture, privacy screens, even plumbing and electricity.

Patio

PATIO

Running a close second to decks – in both popularity and investment return – are patios. With a patio, you can relax and entertain at ground level, which can afford more privacy in urban areas, and allows you to be more engaged with the surrounding plants and landscaping.

Typically made of brick, concrete, or stone, a patio also comes with far fewer maintenance and repair issues than a deck. Plus, patios are generally easier and less disruptive to construct – which is why they’re often about 30 percent less expensive to have professionally built.

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GAZEBO

For those who want even more privacy, as well as shelter from the sun and protection from mosquitoes and other pests, there’s the gazebo. Available with walls or as an open-air design, with screening or not, these modestly sized, affordable backyard structures can be built from scratch or purchased as a kit (for assembly by a do-it-yourselfer or a professional).

Popular in the Midwest for decades, gazebos have made their way west as homeowners here have discovered how nice and easy they are for creating a shaded spot for reading, relaxing, and backyard gatherings.

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OUTDOOR KITCHEN

People tend to gather naturally in the kitchen. And when the kitchen is outdoors, it creates an ideal opportunity to mix, mingle and interact in the open air. Other reasons why cooking outdoors makes so much sense: less kitchen cleanup, the house stays cooler during the summer, and grilled food just tastes better.

Some may think an outdoor kitchen is only for cooks who host large parties, but homeowners who go this route say they’re more of an extension of the home, and great for daily use.

Designs for outdoor kitchens range from the simple (a grill, limited counter and cabinet space, and maybe a prep sink) to truly independent entities with a refrigerator, an elaborate grill, warming oven, freestanding island with storage space, rolling cart stations, and even a dishwasher. Depending on how elaborate your design, you may be able to list it as a second kitchen when selling your house.

 

SIX PLANNING SUGGESTIONS

  1. Before meeting with contractors, gather photos of designs and ideas that you like; this will make it much easier to communicate your ideas.
  2. Make sure the materials you plan to use, as well as the overall size of the structure, will be harmonious with your home’s current look and feel.
  3. Give serious consideration to a roof – which will likely add significantly to the cost, but will also provide much-needed shade on hot days and protection from rain and inclement weather. In fact, to ensure things are structurally sound and architecturally appealing, start with the design for the roof first, then set your sights on the roof supports and structure below.
  4. Incorporate lighting into your design, which will extend its usability into the evening and throughout the seasons.
  5. Consider convenience, comfort, and longevity when choosing materials. For example, a floor made of dirt or stepping stones may last forever, but one made of wood or concrete is much easier to clean and arrange furniture upon.

 

If you’re eager to live a healthier lifestyle and reconnect with family and friends, as most people are today, it’s time to consider an outdoor living space.

Originally posted in the Windermere Blog by Tara Sharp

Why We Love Living in Seattle: Northwest Folklife Festival

Since 1972, the Northwest Folklife Festival has been Seattle’s official start to summer. The Folklife Festival is a 3-day weekend of music, dance, and storytelling, workshops, crafts, vendors, and fun for the whole family. All ages and musical interests are welcome with events and workshops that are open to anyone who wants to participate or just listen. Admission to everything is free, although donations made at the door are appreciated.

This Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-29, 2017, at Seattle Center, join your Northwest neighbors and 5,000 performers from all over the Pacific Northwest including Washington, Oregon, Western Montana, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, and Alberta for a celebration of our diverse communities.

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Unique Furniture Stores of Seattle

Buy local and find those one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll never see anywhere else.

Looking to add some pomp and flare to your dwelling? Yearning for a unique piece to tie the room together? Look no further. Each of the stores on this list are small, independently curated boutiques, perfect for finding one-of-a-kind furnishings, vintage pieces, and home goods with a distinctly Seattle flair.

Adorn

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. Adorn is a great place to find something unique for your home. The staff is well known for its friendly attitude and the always charming Rocco, the shop dog.

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Unique Find: Temporary wallpaper in uber-stylish prints

Ballard Consignment

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. You’ll find an impeccably curated inventory of eclectic vintage furnishings and art.

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Unique Find: Warthog Taxidermy Mounted Head

Camelion Design

In addition to an amazing array of furniture styles and a seemingly endless selection of fabrics, it’s also a boutique housewares store full of goodies. You’ll discover gifts for everyone in their offerings of serving ware, candles, furniture, art, accessories, and gifts for baby.

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Unique Find: Modern furniture that doesn’t compromise comfort for style

Capers

Let your Seattle pride shine at this West Seattle home and lifestyle shop. Featuring the work of local, independent, and eco-friendly artists and craftspeople, Capers is a great spot to pick up a beautiful new cookbook that also serves as a coffee table book.

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Unique Find: Coated outdoor linens that are chic and functional with really stylish textile patterns

Digs

This Market Street staple has an exuberant mix of art, furniture, and craft; boosting a healthy mix of mid-century and contemporary pieces with a generous dose of whimsy.

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Unique Find: Life size cow sculptures

Fremont Vintage Mall

A basement full of furniture, art, and accessories could be considered the mother of all vintage stores. Spending a couple of hours browsing here is like shopping an entire antique district. Each visit will reveal new things. From the roaring ’20s to midcentury, this gallery isn’t stuck in a particular decade.

Fremont Antique Mall

Unique Find: 1950’s metal carnival clown baseball toss game

Phase Two Interiors

Gigi Buchanan opened Phase Two as an art, décor and furniture shop for gently used home furnishings that are worthy of a second life span, in a new home. The showroom has a large and varied selection spanning many different design styles.

Phase 2

Unique Find: Scooter the shop dog apparently has great taste and is happy to help you find the perfect throw pillow

Second Use

The ultimate store for a hardcore scavenger; going to Second Use feels like being at a 100 yard sales under one roof. From old lumber, vintage cabinet pulls, and fun retro lighting options to modern appliances, unused doors and large stock piles of unused wood flooring options; they literally have it all.

2nd use

Unique Find: Antique Pine Winnowing Table used to separate the wheat from the chaff – great for a side table